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For each of us, there can be many, varied reasons why art is important to us as individuals and as a group. For some of us, we may think it is simply an irrelevant subject. But is it? In simple terms, Art, gives meaning to our lives and helps us understand our complex world and it is a form of communication. It is a very important part of culture as it allows us to have a deeper understanding of where we come from and our emotions. It brings a sense of self awareness and allows us to be open to new ideas and experiences. For us laymen it is a simple experience, but for an artist or someone with a deep interest in art, it is much more than an experience, it is a way of life.

For example, you start your day with breakfast, you may not notice how the table is set, or how the food is served. It is normal, most of us don't, but did you realize there is an art to it? It is everywhere, in everything we do. Art is all around us, in street layouts, in buildings and communities. It is so much a part of our day to day lives that it is often un-noticed.

Art can transform lives, it is said that when we connect with art, we are ultimately connecting with our inner selves. Art has a way of helping us look within, listen to ourselves, and realize who we are. As humans, it is essential to surround ourselves with art. Why would art be important for our lives?

1. Art encourages unity

Art encourages unity and togetherness within a community and reduces isolation, it makes us aware of the world around us and how much we influence one another. It is impossible to give a value to art in terms of how it has developed us as people. It is through art that we come to know of our cultures and history.

2. Art reduces isolation

Let's elaborate with a brief example, when people interact with each other, they exchange ideas and opinions, this creates a space to express thoughts and ideas. It is through this process that new, creative ideas are born. They are then demonstrated through art and literature. The sense of closeness or the relationship which is built through this exchange shows the importance of creativity in society.

3. Art increases self-awareness

If we use visual arts as an example, it is easier to understand the development. The first cave men painted scenes from their day to day lives on the walls, that is how we understand history. As the years progressed, we can see how times have changed, developed to what we are today. We become aware of our beginnings and see the progress.

4. Art is good for one's self esteem

Beautifying your surroundings, helps to alleviate stress and discomfort. Art is essential for physical, emotional, and mental well being. For example, music is often used by people to battle depression and other mental illnesses. For an artist, creating a piece and seeing the finished work will bring a sense of achievement. It brings a good feeling.

In summary, art and humans have an interwoven relationship which cannot be separated. Whether you an artist or someone who loves art in one or all of its forms, it is clear to see why it is important to us, as individuals, communities, and the world. It makes us want to do better than before. So take some time to enjoy the creative art around you, it is truly a gift!

Manesha Peiris (2022)